When the difference between winning gold and taking home silver could be just fractions of a second, every bit of help is crucial.
And while hours spent in training alongside coaches and long slogs at the gym play a key role for Australian Olympic athletes as they gear up for their events, scientists and data analysts are playing an ever-expanding role in helping competitors stand atop the podium in Tokyo.
Just as smart watches and fitness devices are providing key insights for amateurs during their workouts, sport science is now playing a bigger role than ever in getting Olympians to the peak of their performance.
Among those helping guide athletes to glory is Canberran David Pyne, from the University of Canberra's Research Institute for Sport and Exercise.
As part of his work, Professor Pyne has been collaborating with Swimming Australia to find the crucial edge for the Australian squad as they chase gold.
"We've been working with the team behind the scenes," Professor Pyne said.
"There are multiple medals up for grabs in Tokyo, and Australia is very well represented, and we've worked alongside coaches and the staff and the athletes to help with preparation for the Games."
Just some of the work Professor Pyne has carried out as part of his work with Swimming Australia has been a study into what factors would give the relay teams the best chance of success.
The findings, published last week, showed the lowest-ranked swimmer on the team was likely to produce the fastest time of the quartet, while swimmers were more likely to swim faster times in a relay leg compared to the same distance in an individual event.
While that was just one study, Professor Pyne said teams had been using data to provide personalised plans for each athlete that was heading to the Olympics.
"We do a lot of pacing and video analysis and have been data-basing all of that and have been developing more sophisticated tools to capture performances," he said.
"There are thousands of races and individual profiles that are kept from when swimmers are at a young age so coaches can use that and help with the athlete's development and progression, and that gives Swimming Australia an idea of their performance.
"For the very top swimmers, we use the race analysis and time-based information so they can use that data and can yield faster times."
Swimming may be one of the sports to garner the most attention during the Games, but almost every Olympic sport has an element of sport science and data analysis going into athlete training to boost performance.
Rugby 7s is another sport using science to bring the extra 1 per cent to its players, and high-performance scientist Michael Donaghy said the data has brought results.
Three of the players he works with at Sydney Rugby 7s club the Manly Mermaids have made the Olympic squad and he said the technology was crucial.
"We test athletes and we gain an understanding of what speeds they can run and how far they travel in a game and what their work rate is, and armed with that info, we can set up ways to change training and concentrate on any weaknesses they may have," he said.
"The technology that we're using is also flowing down to others, from a national to a state and regional level as well.
"That will then be able to be used and we'll be able to see the fruits of our labour."
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